I promised to share with you my dreams for 2017, but before I do, I want to fill you in on how I got to where I am.
As some of you know, this past year has been a heavy one for me, the darkest I've yet experienced. While many things contributed to the depth of this difficult time, one of the most prominent and persistent struggles I faced was the realization I had lost my ability to dream. How I reached this point is a story of its own, but being in this place felt completely disorienting for me. I couldn't think of the future I wanted because I had no idea how to imagine it.
I went to school to teach at the college level, and currently I am an adjunct, teaching writing to first-year college students. I enjoy teaching, but the adjunct life is not one of abundance or permanence; this isn't a long-term job. But after writing a dissertation-length thesis, I felt weighed down by the thought of pursuing a doctoral degree, and I didn't love the idea that I would have to select an even narrower focus of study. For a long time the idea of switching careers lingered in the back of my mind, but I had spent so much time and energy (and money) studying to teach that the idea of leaving this behind felt like I was giving up or turning my back on a good thing: a service career with direct impact on students, true life-altering work.
Through prayer, counseling, divine moments, and invaluable support from friends and family, what came to me in response to these doubts was this verse: "I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living," Psalm 27:13.